Breadth is a required component of doctoral training at UW–Madison. Given there are multiple paths to breadth, the Graduate School leaves the choice of whether students achieve breadth through a doctoral minor (two options as described below), Graduate/Professional certificate, or other means up to the specific graduate program.  The specific Breadth Requirement Policy, including information on certificates, is found here: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1200

Minor options are as follows:

Option A (external): Requires a minimum of 9 credits in a minor program (single disciplinary or multi-disciplinary). Fulfillment of this option requires the approval of the minor program.

Option B (distributed): Requires a minimum of 9 credits in one or more programs forming a coherent topic, and can include coursework in the program. Fulfillment of this option requires the approval of the major program.

The Graduate School’s minimum course requirements for the minor include:

  • An average GPA of 3.00 on all minor coursework;
  • Coursework must be graded courses numbered 300 or above; no audits or pass/fail;
  • Coursework may not be double counted for major requirements;
  • Maximum 3 credits of independent study (e.g., 699, 799, 899, 999);
  • Research and thesis cannot be used to satisfy the minor (e.g., 790, 890, 990);
  • No more than 5 credits of coursework completed more than 5 years prior to admission to the doctoral program; coursework taken 10 years ago or more may not be used.

A student cannot earn a doctoral minor and a Graduate/Professional certificate of the same name. Credits earned towards the minor may count towards the minimum graduate residence requirement, minimum graduate degree requirement, and the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement.

See Minimum Graduate Residence Credit RequirementMinimum Graduate Degree Credit RequirementMinimum Graduate Coursework (50%) RequirementPrior Coursework